On This Day In History. What Happened Today In History | HistoryNet MENU

On This Day In History. What Happened Today In History

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


  • 2016 Today in History December 16
    1431 Henry VI of England is crowned King of France.
    1653 Oliver Cromwell takes on dictatorial powers with the title of "Lord Protector."
    1773 To protest the tax on tea from England, a group of young Americans, disguised as Indians, throw chests of tea from British ships in Boston Harbor.
    1835 A fire in New York City destroys property estimated to be worth $20,000,000. It lasts two days, ravages 17 blocks, and destroys 674 buildings including the Stock Exchange, Merchants' Exchange, Post Office, and the South Dutch Church.
    1863 Confederate General Joseph Johnston takes command of the Army of Tennessee.
    1864 Union forces under General George H. Thomas win the battle at Nashville, smashing an entire Confederate army.
    1930 In Spain, a general strike is called in support of the revolution.
    1939 The National Women's Party urges immediate congressional action on equal rights.
    1940 British troops carry out an air raid on Italian Somalia.
    1944 Germany mounts a major offensive in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. As the center of the Allied line falls back, it creates a bulge, leading to the name--the Battle of the Bulge.
    1949 Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung is received at the Kremlin in Moscow.
    1950 President Harry Truman declares a state of National Emergency as Chinese communists invade deeper into South Korea.
    1976 President Jimmy Carter appoints Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations.
    1978 Cleveland becomes the first U.S. city to default since the depression.
    1998 The United States launches a missile attack on Iraq for failing to comply with United Nations weapons inspectors.
    2003 President George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which establishes the United States' first national standards regarding email and gives the Federal Trade Commission authority to enforce the act.
    Born on December 16
    1485 Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, who bore him six children; only one, Mary I, survived to adulthood.
    1770 Ludwig Van Beethoven, German composer best known for his 9th Symphony.
    1775 Jane Austen, novelist (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice).
    1917 Arthur C. Clarke, English science fiction writer (2001: A Space Odyssey)
    1932 Sir Quentin Saxby Blake, illustrator and children's writer; received the Hans Christian Andersen Award (2002) and was Britain's first Children's Laureate (1999–2001).
    1936 Morris Dees, activist; co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
    1938 Liv Ullmann, Norwegian actress and director; won Golden Globe for Best Actress–Motion Picture Drama for The Emigrants (1971).
    1943 Steven Bochco, TV producer and writer (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law).
    1949 Billy Gibbons, singer, songwriter, musician with ZZ Top and Moving Sidewalks bands.
    1955 Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este.
    1962 William Perry, pro football defensive lineman nicknamed The Refrigerator because of his size.
    1963 Benjamin Bratt, actor best known for his role of Rey Curtis on the Law & Order TV series.
    1969 Adam Riess, astrophysicist; shared 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy and 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for providing evidence the expansion of the universe is accelerating.